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North Korea poses a new “catastrophic threat” to the world this year, experts have warned.
Foreign policy wonks claim a fresh emergency caused by the rogue state is of major concern in 2021.
They say the risk is now even greater than it was four years ago when Donald Trump first became US President.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has laid out the stark danger from Kim Jong-un’s regime and its nuclear capabilities.
Its annual preventive priorities survey ranked a crisis stemming from its continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile testing as the “top-ranked conflict concern for 2021”.
And it means North Korea’s nuclear programme is now a bigger threat than a cyberattack on US critical infrastructure, which was the top concern in 2019 and 2020.
Tubby tyrant Jong-un tends to use nuclear and missile tests to taunt new world leaders, raising fears more could be on the way now that Joe Biden has been sworn in as President.
Last month, Jong-un declared the US was North Korea’s “foremost principal enemy” at a meeting of the Worker’s Party of Korea, news.com.au reports.
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The dictator blasted America’s “hostile policy” towards the hermit kingdom.
Scott A Snyder, from the CFR, said: “President Obama warned president-elect Trump in November 2016 that the most vexing international security threat he would face would emanate from North Korea.
“Two nuclear tests, myriad long-range missile tests, and three Trump-Kim summits later, the magnitude and likelihood of North Korea posing a catastrophic threat to US national interests is greater than it was four years ago.”
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Trump developed a ‘bromance’ with Jong-un and became the first sitting US President to enter North Korea during a summit in 2019.
But it did not change the threat posed by the pariah nation, experts say.
Justin Hastings, a professor in international relations at the University of Sydney, said every time North Korea tests a weapon causes a “potential for the breakout of war”.
Paul B Stares, director of the CFR’s Centre for Preventive Action, said: “There are many potential international clashes that the incoming Joe Biden administration must be particularly mindful of, especially given its desire to focus on bringing the novel coronavirus pandemic under control.”
- Donald Trump
- North Korea Dprk
- Kim Jong Un
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